Discover the E5 Alpine Crossing

E5 Alpine Crossing

Highlights
  • Complete the classic Alpine crossing from Oberstdorf to Meran
  • Experience three countries in one trek; Germany, Austria and Italy
  • Soak in the incredible views as the trail snakes its way through the Alps
  • Delicious meals featuring the local specialities from each country
  • Stay in mountain huts or choose to stay in hotels in the valleys

The E5 passes through Germany, Austria and Italy and is one of Europe's finest alpine hikes. As you make your way south through the mountains, watch as the landscape changes from high alpine terrain with peaks over 3,000m to the warmer climate of Meran, where palm trees welcome you. The hike covers 10,000m of ascent spread over 180 kilometres, taking you through the Allgäu, Lechtal and the Ötztal Alps. Admire jagged, snow-covered peaks, expansive alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers and deep-turquoise lakes as they accompany you on this epic trek.

Since 2012, Macs Adventure has been offering self-guided trips in the region with our German sister company's help. Our knowledgeable team is waiting to answer any questions you may have, and some have their own experiences of walking along the E5. All you have to do is choose which version of the tour is for you.

You can walk the E5 Extended, a longer itinerary that has you spending more nights in alpine huts or embark on the Classic E5, which is ideal for those who don’t want to sacrifice comfort and enjoy hiking away from the crowds.

 

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Discover E5 Alpine Crossing

  • Why hike the E5?

    This trail takes you through three countries, six valleys and over countless summits. What more could you want! Hike from the southernmost corner of Germany across Austria and into Italy, it is a trip of a lifetime. Not to be underestimated, it is a serious undertaking and requires hiking experience and a good level of fitness however the views and experiences along the way more than make up for all the hard work!

    Can I shorten the stages if necessary?

    The days vary from 16 - 20 km with ascents and descents of 500 - 1000 m and walking times between approx. 4 - 6 hours. This makes for a challenging hike, but the lucky thing is that most of the stages can be shortened by public bus if necessary. You will find all the useful information in our information pack.

    What equipment do I need?

    Sturdy, ankle-high hiking boots that are well broken in are the be-all and end-all for a successful hike. Comfortable functional clothing, as well as a waterproof jacket and a well-fitting rucksack (approx. 30-40l) are essential. Hiking poles can considerably reduce the strain on your joints.

    Can I embark on this trip if I have a fear of heights?

    The paths are mainly wide, well-maintained and way marked. There are no exposed sections, but there are a couple of sections where you cross slopes with a view down into the valley or where the path is narrower. The trails run above the valley floor, sometimes on panoramic paths, but they are usually all wide enough that there is no fear of vertigo.

    Why hike the E5?
  • Which Alpine Crossing is for me?

    There are some wonderful Alpine Crossing which take you through Austria. These unique tours allow you to complete each crossing while enjoying the comfort of private rooms in high standard accommodations, as well as bag transfers to help lighten the load. Here are some of our most popular ones:

    The E5 Alpine Crossing (Grade 5) Starting in Oberstdorf, embark on this classic Alpine crossing, finishing in Meran. Experience three countries in one legendary trek; Germany, Austria and Italy. This is one of our tougher alpine crossings with long days and sizeable ascents and descents and terrain that covers scree, rocky and exposed paths with sections of rope to aid ascents/descents. We only recommend this walk to experienced alpine walkers or novices with a good level of fitness and a head for heights. It is ideal for those who don’t want to sacrifice comfort and enjoy hiking away from the crowds. Stay in 3* hotels/guesthouses and spend one night in a mountain hut (private room).

    Across the Alps: Bavaria to South Tyrol (Grade 3) This tour takes you through the Eastern Alps from German Bavaria to Italy’s South Tyrol via Austria on this moderate inn to inn walking tour. This unique route has been designed by us with the Alpine novice in mind, or for those who are simply looking for a comparatively easy-going Alpine experience. Rated moderate, no Alpine experience is required to complete this tour, just a good level of fitness. You should be happy walking 13-19km and 500-1000m of ascents/descents a day. However, almost all the walks can be shortened if required. Stay in high-quality 3 and 4* hotels, and your bag will be transferred each day, giving you the freedom to walk with just a small day pack

    Tyrolean Alps: Garmisch to Innsbruck (Grade 5) Walk from Germany to Austria through the Bavarian and Tyrolean Alps, Explore the historical old town of Tyrol’s capital - spend a night in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in a traditional hut. This trip involves a mixture of moderate to strenuous hikes, whilst staying in lively cultural hubs such as Garmisch and Innsbruck. Graded moderate, there are some significant ascents and descents involved, perfect for working up an appetite for some of the hearty local cuisines! Optional walks allow a rest day if preferred. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, then this is the tour for you!

     

    Which Alpine Crossing is for me?
  • Why choose Macs Adventure to book your walking holiday in Austria

    Macs Adventure has been running self-guided walking holidays in Austria since 2012.  Our extensive research and our partnership with our German sister company, lead us to seek out more and more areas where we could help people to discover Austria on foot. 

    From humble beginnings, we now send over 200 walkers to Austria every year, each walking the route that excites them the most. We provide the freedom to choose your route, itinerary and travel companions and discover Austria at your own pace. 

    We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale and we quickly realised how important it was to have amazing partners on the ground in Austria to deal with any issues that you might come across.  We are proud to say that we work incredibly closely with all our accommodation suppliers and luggage transfer teams and should you have the slightest issue, they will fall over themselves to help you out. 

    We offer a flexible, tailor-made hiking experience that gets you in comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the unique culture, food and scenery of Austria. No hostels, no leaky tents, no heavy bags on your back just a straightforward active holiday that you can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you. 

    We want to showcase our expertise, by giving you all the resources you will ever need.  In the planning stage, we have free guides and a host of staff with their own Austrian experiences, waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping as well as the best maps and guidebooks to make sure you find your way.  

    We love the alpine scenery of walking in Austria and our main aim is to make sure that you do

     

    Why choose Macs Adventure to book your walking holiday in Austria
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